This Prophecy and Revelation Received by Vision

1 Nephi



1 Nephi 13:Verse1

1 AND it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld many nations and kingdoms.

Revelation 17:Verse 1a

1 AND there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee,

Isaiah 13:Verse 1

1 THE burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.

The Prophet Joseph Smith stated that "whenever God gives a vision of an image, or beast, or figure of any kind, He always holds Himself responsible to give a revelation or interpretation of the meaning thereof, otherwise we are not responsible or accountable for our belief in it" (TPJS p. 291). As the Apostle Paul stated, 'Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them' (1 Corinthians 2: Verse 9). Prophetic visions might be difficult to record when there is no physical, or intellectual conception of what they have seen. In vision, a prophet may see and understand many things simultaneously, as all senses participate in the manifestation. A Prophet might view the heavenly reaction or command, and then the result of that command as an earthly event. When trying to write what he has seen, a prophet must try and put everything in order as he understands it, often trying to record in writing, consecutive and simultaneous events in linear time. Understanding this it must be realized that in the written record the prophet may leap back and forth, sometimes overlapping events, and time periods, making prophecy seem apocalyptic. Visionary tenses are often difficult to decipher, and fall into three categories: 1) narrative past, 2) visionary present, and 3) apocalyptic future. The time line, however, is always the problem as these tenses can change within the same verse, leaving the interpretation obscure. Prophecy, is history in reverse, and of the two, prophecy is more sure, if the understanding is clear.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie has made this statement, in reference to chronological timing in the Book of Revelation:

As with all scripture dealing with the events to precede and attend the Second Coming, there is not a perfect chronological recitation of events. That which is to occur in one seal must be related to the things in another, and to give an over-all perspective, things widely separated in time are often spoken of in the same sentence. ( DNTC Vol III p. 488)

The prophecies and information contained in these chapters are received by revelation and vision. The clear understanding of evil must come from above because it is lacking in the written word of God. These visions answer the questions about the origins of evil, the goals and plans of Satan, and the destruction of wickedness. Inquries about the creation of man and his world, his relationship to god, and the origin and purpose of evil and death, are the "terrable questions" that are answered by the myths and traditions, of all cultures of antiquity. These same questions lie somewhere within the heart and mind of every individual, and consciously or subconsciously the heart and mind will seek for the answers. In the absence of truth the mind will create answers to these questions or believe in false concepts, in order to satisfy this innate quest. These are the same questions asked by the prophets and apostles in the Old and New Testaments (See J.S. Matthew verse 4). The priesthood leaders sought explanations for these questions, because the answers are needed to understand the plan of salvation and exaltation. Therefore, the answers come by revelation and by vision, because they are deeply rooted in the primordial past and the eschatological future of the Lord's work. With the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Priesthood and the plain and precious truths contained in modern scripture, these questions are answered for the honest in heart as they seek the truth about their relationship with God and their fellow man.

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